Monday, July 28, 2014

Review: 25 Perfect Days by Mark Tullius

Author: Mark Tullius
Genre: Dystopian, Adult
Publisher: Vincere Press
Publication Date: March 15, 2013

A totalitarian state doesn’t just happen overnight. It’s a slow, dangerous slide. 25 Perfect Days chronicles the path into a hellish future of food shortages, contaminated water, sweeping incarceration, an ultra-radical religion, and the extreme measures taken to reduce the population.

Higher taxes, strict gun control, an oppressive healthcare system. Complete media control, genetically modified food, experimentation on citizens. The push of depersonalizing technology, unending wars, government sanctioned assassinations. Is this collection of stories merely science fiction or soon to be fact? Are these policies designed for the greater good or disguised to benefit a chosen few at the expense of the masses? Is this brave new world the best we could do or part of a sinister grand plan?

Through these twenty-five interlinked stories, each written from a different character’s point of view, 25 Perfect Days captures the sacrifice, courage, and love needed to survive and eventually overcome this dystopian nightmare.


        


Review
When I started reading 25 Perfect Days, I thought I was in for one hell of a Dystopian. I was delighted when the story started incredibly strong and disturbed me in ways you can't imagine. Unfortunately, once the story switched perspectives things started to slow down quite a bit and I quickly became confused as to what was actually going on in the story. 

One of the main reasons for my confusion was I had no clue going into the story that it would take place over years. Silly me thinking a book titled 25 Perfect Days actually meant it took place over 25 days. Now this wouldn't of been such an issue had we followed only one set of characters or heck, even one family but the multiple perspectives combined with sometimes multiple generations within said family was very hard to follow and by the books end I could only really recount the names of a handful of characters despite knowing I had read dozens of different view points over the course of the story.

Another thing that really bugged me about 25 Perfect Days was its jump from speculative fiction to something more akin to a plot of a bad Syfy movie. Politicians creating insane laws to further whatever agenda I can believe all day long but I felt adding in the Cannibalizing of citizens, chopping off limbs to meet some insane weight requirement and all babies being given to a Church who kills them without any thought once they reach 5 years old was a bit much and that's before some of the kookier things like Cyborg hit men, the outlawing of bleach and mutant animals who were created for no real purpose except to screw the population even more. I hate to use the term jumping the shark but at some point that is exactly what this book did and for me it was these unnecessary additions that downgraded the story in my mind some. 

Now despite my lukewarm feelings for 25 Perfect Days, the story did do a few things right. 

First off, I liked the ending to the story. It might not have been perfect and many questions were certainly left unanswered but considering all my issues I was left mostly satisfied by the story in the end. 

Secondly, the idea of the 5 minute rule intrigued me. Sure, it breaks all sorts of human rights violations and would never happen in "real life" because of that but you can't tell me that you've never read about some unspeakable act on the news and thought "If only I could get 5 minutes alone with that guy/girl." I know I have and I'm a very peaceful person 99.9% of the time.  

Lastly, I really liked seeing how the Dystopian world came to be in the first place. Usually the genre starts after the fact and it then takes a prequel or a book dedicated to back story to get the reader caught up to speed so seeing everything from the onset was sort of refreshing. 

Final Thoughts
Had 25 Perfect Days been a quicker, less confusing read I probably would be rating it higher but for what it was, I just cant. Nonetheless, Would I recommend reading 25 Perfect Days? Eh, maybe. However, this is one I'd highly recommend reading reviews before tackling for yourself as this is definitely not a one size fits all book. 
   
With that being said, I'll be rating 25 Perfect Days by Mark Tillius .

*Copy reviewed provided by publisher. All opinions are my own and I was not compensated in an which way for providing them.


About the Author

http://www.marktullius.com/
I’m a father and a husband, a brother and a son. I’m an Ivy League grad who worked in a warehouse, an MMA fighter with too many defeats. I’m the bouncer and bodyguard, the drunk guy in the fight. The jailer and the jailed, the guilty and innocent.

I’m a writer shaped by influences, too many to count. I grew up on King and Koontz while force-fed the Bible. I narrate Dr. Seuss and Disney nearly every night. Like you, I've seen things I wished I hadn’t, heard some truths I won’t forget.

Writing is my heavy bag, the sparring partner that doesn't punch back. It's where I shed my armor and cast off the blindfold, take a look at myself and the world around me. The writing takes me wherever it wants. Dark alley or dinner table, classroom or morgue. I go along for the ride and try to capture the moment, show life like it is and let you be the judge.

2 comments:

  1. Well I'd think that this one talks about 25 days too. I mean logically. This sounds like a really confusing story. Sorry you couldn't enjoy this one as much as you hoped. Great review, Kristin :)

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  2. Really enjoyed the review. I think i'll have to pass on this one though. Sounds like it would annoy me to no end and It might end my streak of not Adding a book to my DNF pile. Thanks for the excellent review. Matt @ JC's Book Haven.

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